SPECIES - Galagoides nyasae (Elliot, 1907)
  • Description
  • Taxonomy
  • Calls
  • Distribution
  • Habitat
  • Conservation
  • References
This species is based on museum specimens collected by the Kirk expedition (1864). Populations residing within the region of Kirk’s collection site have been studied (Wallace 2005, Bearder & Karlsson 2009). The vocal repertoire of these populations show high similarity with G. granti  (Wallace 2005, Bearder & Karlsson 2009) but recent revisions of recordings suggests that they could display a unique pattern different from G. granti (SK Bearder, pers. comm.). G. sp. nov. 2 is a taxa also described from the same region, i.e. Mt Thyolo, (Groves 2001). Wallace (2005) recorded calls from the Mt Thyolo population could not positively identify it as a separate taxa.

Excerpt from Groves (2001) describe the museum specimens as “Not different in size or proportions from other G. granti, but browner, less reddish; tail less blackened; underside less yellowish. Facial pattern very poorly expressed, with hardly any eyerings, and median snout strip yellowed.”

Common name: Malawi Galago

Type locality: Mountains south of Lake Malawi

Excerpt from Bearder (2008):

"According to Grubb et al. (2003), Lawrence and Loveridge (1953) removed nyasae from the synonymy of what they called Galago senegalensis moholi, where Schwarz (1931) had placed it, but retained it as a subspecies of G. senegalensis. They recognized its differences from Galago senegalensis moholi and similarities with G. s. zanzibaricus, i.e. Galagoides zanzibaricus, in pelage, dentition and cranial proportions. After examining the type and other material in London, they included in Galago senegalensis nyasae the specimen from Thyolo (=Cholo), which Groves (2001) assigned to Galagoides sp. nov. 2. Galagoides sp. nov. 2 and what we now call Galagoides nyasae occur in very close proximity and am potentially synonymous species. Further information on the vocalizations, distribution and ecology of the two taxa are needed (Grubb et al. 2003)."

The following calls were recorded at the small (1 km2) Tea Research Foundation Forest (16° 6'0.00"S, 35°37'38.00"E) near Mt Mulanje, Malawi, by Bearder & Karlsson (2009). The taxonomic status of this galago population is uncertain (described as potentially G. granti by Wallace (2005) and Bearder & Karlsson (2009)) though it is the most likely candidate, to date, to be G. nyasae (SK Bearder, pers. comm.).

Incremental Call


Buzz and Rapid Chatter

Strangled Screech and Yap

All calls are used by kind permission from the NPRG Sound Library, Oxford Brookes University, U.K.

Kirk (1864) collected the type specimens in the mountains south of Lake Malawi (Moreau et al. 1946). If this vague description refers to highlands nearby Lake Malawi, it place the type locality to somewhere in the Mangochi and Machinga districts, perhaps around the Mangochi Mountains in Liwonde National Park (J Karlsson, pers. obs.). However, the one more specific locality to be mentioned by Kirk is Kebrebassa. Livingstone (1865) maps Kebrebassa to 209 km from the nearest point of Lake Malawi, which places it in current day Chikwawa District, Malawi (J Karlsson pers. comm.) – a non-mountainous region (Moreau et al. 1946).

Actual observations of this little-known species are believed to have been recorded from mountains in the north-west of Mozambique close to Lake Malawi, and from the Chikwawa District Malawi (Bearder 2008) (but see comments under Calls).

Map: Pink, very small, areas illustrate the current estimated distribution of G. nyasae.

Distribution polygon data compiled by Bearder (2008). Shapefile downloaded from www.iucnredlist.org.

Excerpt from Bearder (2008):

Presumably occurs in either tropical montane or lowland forest. Also known to occur in secondary vegetation associated with tea plantations.

Picture: Tea Research Foundation forest, southern Malawi. Illustrate the habitat where a population of potential G. nyasae was found (see note under the Calls tab).
IUCN Category: Data Deficient (ver 3.1)

Listed on Appendix II of CITES

Further studies on the taxonomy, ecology and threats to this species are needed. There is no information on the threats to this species, but almost certainly habitat loss due to deforestation (for crops and logging) and expanding human settlement is likely to be a threat.

Bearder, S. 2008. Galagoides nyasae. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 May 2012.

Bearder SK & Karlsson J (2009) A survey of nocturnal primates in Malawi - August 2009.  (Oxford Brookes University, U.K.), p 5.

Groves CP (2001) Primate taxonomy (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington [D.C.]) pp viii, 350 p.

Grubb P, et al. (2003) Assessment of the diversity of African primates. International Journal of Primatology 24(6):1301-1357.

Kirk J (1864) On the mammals of Zambesia. in Proceedings of the Scientific Meetings of the Zoological Society of London, ed Rothschild MJ (London), pp 645-651.

Lawrence B & Loveridge A (1953) Zoological Results of a Fifth Expedition to East Africa: I. Mammals from Nyasaland and Tete. With notes on the genus Otomys. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 110(1):3-80.

Livingstone D (1865) Zambesi Map.

Moreau RE, Hopkins GHE, & Hayman RW (1946) The type-localities of some African mammals. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London:387-447.

Schwartz E (1931) On the African long-tailed lemurs and galagos. The annals and magazine of natural history, including zoology, botany, and geology, eds Woodward AS, Marshall GAK, Regan CT, Stephenson J, & Francis RT (Taylor and Francis, London), Vol VII, pp 41-65.

Wallace G (2005) Identification, abundance, and behaviour of galagos (Primates, Galagidae) in the Shire Highlands, Malawi. MSc Thesis (Oxford Brookes University, Oxford).